Showing posts with label Chevrolet Corvette. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chevrolet Corvette. Show all posts

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 1960s American classic sports car

The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was released in '63. 'Stingray' was a fitting name. For - in careless hands - the car could indeed unleash a fearsome sting, from its sweetly-shaped fastback tail. Its avant-garde fibreglass body made the Stingray a lot lighter than it looked. Its kerb weight was just 3,362lb. Combine that with 340bhp - from a small block high compression V8 - and the result was a powertrain that required respect. Even more so for the fuel-injected 360hp version - available as a $430 optional extra.

The Stingray's free-flowing form was inspired, in part, by Chevrolet's Mako Shark 1 'dream car'. Dream cars were just that. Conceptual exercises - on display at auto shows - they were never intended to traverse highways. Rather, their brief was to work buyers up into a fever-pitch of excitement. Their acme was the '50s. During that space-obsessed decade, sci-fi was the source of many a fantasy-drenched design prototype. Another GM car key to the Stingray's development was '57's Q-Corvette - designed by Bob McLean. The Stingray Special - Bill Mitchell's racing project - was also instrumental. Those machines fed into '59's XP-720 - a GM experimental model. From that, it was a short hop to the Stingray production car.

The Stingray was dubbed the 'Coke bottle' - on account of its hour-glass shape. Andy Warhol - who knew a thing or two about coke bottles - would have loved that. Designer Larry Shinoda refined those illustrious contours into something suitable for road use. Pete Brock was an able assistant. Bill Mitchell - head stylist at GM - owned a Jaguar E-Type. And that British-made sports car, too, was a clear influence on the Stingray. The latter, though, could only have been made in the US. American to its apple-pie core, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray summed up the States. On a sunny '60s day - with the convertible version's top down - driving must have seemed like the stuff of heaven!